The Round-Up (01/03/24)

In a week which closes off the lovestruck month of February, here’s our top songs ranging from unconditional love to an extended hiatus.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Tenille Townes – As You Are

I first heard this song when Tenille played at Stoller Hall in Manchester last year. It was a poignant moment in the set, a devastatingly powerful song that pulled on the emotions of everyone in the crowd. Now released into the world, it has the exact same impact. It’s unconditional love celebrated with kindness, compassion and empathy, just the way Tenille has always written songs. [JR]

Also new this week…

LØLØ – poser
An absolutely lovely pop ballad for the social media generation from LØLØ here. Trading in her usual pop-punk influenced bangers, her vocals really shine here and, as is typical with her, she still manages to squeeze in a classic one-liner or two. ‘You never loved me you fucking poser’ will be in TikTok reels everywhere soon, mark my words. [TJ]

Hovvdy – Meant
Building up with a beautiful synth intro and understated vocals, ‘Meant’ by Hovvdy is a powerful track without overdoing it; it’s strength comes from it’s pulsating rhythms, which drive it forward throughout. ‘Meant’ is a masterclass on how to be impactful while remaining controlled and subtle, but that isn’t to say that the band do anything in halves – a statement which is proven by their upcoming self-titled double-album, due for release in April. [GC]

Martial Arts – Warsaw
The debut single from Manchester’s own five piece, Martial Arts, wastes no time getting its point across. With a strong riff, noisy drums and a thumping baseline, the single swells up and down, highlighted by rousing vocals from Jim Marson. An impressive effort from their debut song, the first the band have ever written together. The three guitarists featured give the song huge post-punk energy, befitting the song name. [AW]

Sam MacPherson – I Don’t Want To See You Try
An emotionally raw tune, ‘I Don’t Wanna See You Try’ pairs a message about helping friends persevere through mental health struggles with an indie-folk guitar that feels like a tight hug. Sam MacPherson’s vocals shine throughout, showing his ability to capture feelings of hurt and hope with his beautiful falsettos in the chorus and begging refrain at the end. This song deserves to be heard far and wide, not only for its great sound, but for its heartfelt message that you’ll never be alone. [RG]

Kassi Ashton – Called Crazy
Kassi Ashton is one of country’s rising stars and her latest single, ‘Called Crazy’ further emphasises that. A guitar-driven anthem alongside Kassi’s knock-out vocal, the song is for women who have been called crazy by a man, only for him to come crawling back. Full of personality and character, it bookmarks Kassi as one to watch in 2024. [JR]

L’Objectif – Lily of the Valley
L’Objectif have been considered the next big thing in post-punk since their debut, but with ‘Lily of the Valley’ they move past the genre labels attached to them to create something more polished, influenced by indie and pop and taking the band in new directions. Its mellow, flowy verses are nicely counteracted with a perfectly noisy, wild ending that creates a perfect balance of chaos and order. [VG]

Luna Shadows – Stay Mad
A lovely and delicate nod to sisterhood, and the complicatedness of it all, ‘Stay Mad’ exists on the same wavelength as beabadoobee or Mitski. With this glimpse into her sophomore record out this June, Luna boldly declares we best keep an ear on her. [TJ]

RaiNao & La Secta All Star – hiato
In an unusual twist for The Rodeo, the next song by Latin artist RaiNao and La Secta All Star is a Puerto Rican fusion. Although the rest of her album CAPICÚ may be categorised as reggaetón, the track ‘hiato’ (hiatus) provides listeners with a pop-punk anthem. This track sees the rising star tackling the inevitable. Lyrics like ‘I said I love you but I’m lonely’ and ‘You would like me to stay here, but not me…’ don’t feel out of place on this track. They tackle this issue head on accompanied by their signature styles: interchangeable trap beats and a rock arrangement. An all-round well-crafted gem. [TM]

Nieve Ella – The Things We Say
After hearing this song live during Nieve Ella’s headline show in London a few weeks ago, I knew it would quickly become a new favourite of mine. The crowd was excitedly bopping along despite it being an unknown tune, a testament to the insanely catchy chorus and playfulness of the song. All about an argument with a best friend, this indie-pop banger is full of brutally honest lyrics (in typical Nieve fashion). [CC]

Rachel Chinouriri – What a Devastating Turn of Events
You can’t help but fall in love with each track that Rachel Chinouriri shares from her upcoming album. This week, she dropped the titual ‘What A Devastating Turn Of Events,’ which chronicles a relationship from those heart-eyed early days to its life-ruining disintegration. Rachel’s storytelling is equal parts devastating and nonchalant, as if writing songs like this comes as easy as breathing. [VG]

Judah and the Lion – Great Decisions
Replete with vibrant electric guitars, pounding kickdrum, and even a classic tambourine, this song has a huge sound that you’re going to love. The boisterous, nearly raucous sound emphasizes the feeling of joy that comes with knowing that “the truth will come out someday” about someone who totally wronged you. While the spoken-word/rap-adjacent moment in the middle wasn’t anticipated, it was quick enough to add some texture and chaos to the song that ultimately works in its favor. [RG]

Nightbus – Average Boy
Full of fuzz and synths, the latest Nightbus single has a dreamlike quality as the Manchester band reflect on loneliness with this ethereal track. The band say it’s “a soundtrack to a lonely club night,” and they’re pretty spot on. The track gleams in 80’s gothic energy as it serenades, with a standout vocal performance from Olive Reeves. [AW]

Contributor Key:
[JR] Johnny Rogerson, [TJ] TJ Foster, [GC] Gemma Cockrell, [TM] Thomas Melia,
[VG] Vicky Greer, [RG] Rory Graham, [CC] Cat Campbell, [AW] Angus Wright

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